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Monday, June 10, 2013

Jack Pesch Rocket

I got myself a gorgeous vintage bicycle a few years ago for my birthday. A Jack Pesch Rocket. The plan all along was to restore it, and I finally finished it! Well, it's almost finished. Plans change a little along the way sometimes...

I bought the bike for about $80 on ebay. It was completely working, and in fairly good shape. Not 100% sure on when my bike was made, but because the grips are plastic and the seat was vinyl, I would think 60's or 70's. The thing that makes me think it might be older is that the bike came with dress guards attached to the rear fender. The builder was a local bike racer from Brisbane. It looks like he used a generic frame, and built the bicycles in his shop in brisbane anywhere from the 30's to the 90's. There is very little info online about his bicycles. I'd love to look in a local library or something.

Fairly soon after getting the bike, I cleaned the chain, got new cranks ($20), new Schwalbe Delta Cruiser tires & tubes ($50), new handlebars ($25) and a new Gyes Saddle ($76). The handlebars are exactly the same as the original, and I put the original grips back on. I also bought a Papillionaire basket ($24). I soaked the rims in acid and scrubbed them up really nice. Rims in this specific size are almost impossible to find, and expensive. I thought I would get as much use out of them before I buy new ones ($50 each).

I LOVE the original waterslide decals. But I didn't like the two-tone blues of the paint on the frame. I tried my hardest to match the original paint, so I could refinish the forks and fenders myself, leaving the frame with the decals. But seriously, a good quality paint in that blue became impossible to find. Even when I found something promising, the supplier was so unreliable, I gave up. I called him SO many times. After riding the bike as is for a year, the waterslides began to flake off; you can't even see the gorgeous red rockets that used to be on the downtube. Sadly, I made the decision to go ahead and just get the entire frame powdercoated. I looked for colours online, and then called around to see what brands my local powdercoaters stocked. They sandblasted and powdercoated the frame, forks, fenders & chain guard for $120!! I got a good deal because they took FOREVER. But that was fine with me!

So, now I think the only thing missing is those original waterslides. I've seen them on ebay before, but lost to another bidder. I've been waiting around to see if some come up. Otherwise, I might try and paint the original design myself, or just get some pin-striping done, and a headbadge.  I went out a few months ago and took some photos of the bike as it is now.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Kitty Cat

I've been wanting to make a little softie now for yonks (do only Aussies say that?... I would never say that out loud...but typing it seems to work :) ). My niece is now at that age, about 2 years, where I can make her things, and where she might actually look at it for a few minutes before getting her 'MatMan' figurines instead (she loves her Batman toys from her Dad's childhood collection). And who I am I kidding, it's going to be a dog toy in less than a week knowing their sneaky pup. Neither of which I care about since I enjoy making things regardless of where they end up. I know my niece LOVES kitties too...though I won't spell out what she actually calls starts with a T.

I found this adorable pattern online, which I altered, which I suggest that you don't bother to alter (I wanted round ears)! It's a perfectly simple pattern, that is so cute, I want to make one for myself! I can't find my original photos I took. This photo is from my instagram feed. If I ever find the originals, I will add them.

I'm a little slow in blog posts lately. I've had a rough year, and just didn't feel like myself. But I think I am getting back on track, and hope to keep this little blog going. I have a handful of dresses, a blouse or two, and pair of shorts to share with you soon. I'd like to start talking more about how I alter my patterns. I usually need to adjust every pattern to fit, and when I do research, it's hard to find what others have done. Maybe this will help other women who are shaped more like me to get ideas, or just see what someone else has done to get a better fit.